Apply for ASTEP’s artist residency scholarship!

A Step Towards Empowering Artists Scholarship

Summer 2013

Theme: Taking Refuge 


Scholarship Description

For a second year in a row, ASTEP and SPACE on Ryder Farm are thrilled to award a one 5-day 4-night residency for actors, playwrights, poets, musicians, songwriters, composers, and visual artists. Our goal is to support socially conscious artistic endeavors, which include creation processes, residencies, exploration or research, exhibits, and performances. The residency will provide each artist with room, board, working space, and artistic support from Ryder Farm faculty for the 5-day 4-night stay. Applicants will be required to arrange and pay for their transportation to and from the farm.

Scholarship Requirements

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have either participated as a student or teacher in one of ASTEP’s programs.
  • The residency will take place during the month of August 2013.
  • The residency is available for actors, playwrights, poets, musicians, songwriters, composers, and visual artists.
  • All artists must bring their own equipment and materials.
  • The project proposed by the applicant must directly relate to the scholarship theme: Taking Refuge

Applicants must submit a cover page, project summary, and project logistics

  • Cover page: must include a project title, applicant name, email address, phone number, and the individual’s prior experience with ASTEP.
  • Project Summary: The project summary must be between 250-400 words. Please explain why you are pursuing this project, how the theme is connected, and the impact you hope the project will have on you as an artist and/or your community. Project summaries that exceed the recommended length will not be reviewed.
  • Project Logistics: Please specify a timeline for your project from inception to completion and your budget. If you already have or plan to seek funding from outside sources, please list those sources as well.

Review Process

  • Three members of the ASTEP community have been randomly selected to review eligible applications. Panelists are chosen from our database and include student alum, Volunteer Teaching alum, and a current ASTEP board member. ASTEP staff will not serve on the panel, and all panel members will remain anonymous.
  • Panel members may contact applicants through ASTEP staff if they have any comments and questions about the application. The panel will score the application, including any modifications, according to the following guidelines:

Clarity – how clearly the idea is presented and how it connects to the theme.
Practicality – how feasible is the project as a whole based on the budget and timeline presented.
Impact – the potential for impact on the artist and the community.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted from 7:00 a.m. on March 29, 2013 until midnight on April 2, 2013. Email applications to Mauricio Salgado at

Scholarship Recipient

  • All applicants will receive a response by May 1, 2013, including the scholarship recipient. The scholarship recipient will also be announced on the ASTEP website.
  • The scholarship recipient must confirm their residency dates by May 15, 2013.
  • The scholarship recipient will also be required to present 4 blog posts about their creative process for the ASTEP website. Blog posts need to include pictures or video.

For questions, please contact Mauricio Salgado, Director of Domestic Programs, at


Second year partnering with The Kennedy Center!

ASTEP is thrilled to partner for a second year with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, to enhance the quality of college theater in the United States. ASTEP will be leading two workshops, “Artist as Citizen” and “Devising with ASTEP”, and joining a prestigious panel of judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. (Check out our 2012 experience!)

Artist as Citizen

Do you believe in the power of Art to transform communities? This interactive workshop will focus on how we can delve beyond our technical training to harness our collective power and begin to build a space where everyone’s stories can be heard. Together, we will explore how we can use our craft as a means of ensuring the strength of our communities, our culture, and the future of the American theater. Come and reclaim ownership of your own artistic fulfillment.

Devising with ASTEP

ASTEP artists live at the intersection of the Arts and Global Justice. In this workshop, we’ll be building original pieces of Devised Theater using ASTEP’s unique process-oriented approach. Drawing from your own personal experiences and ideas, a few inspiring prompts, and techniques for devising that an ASTEP facilitator will guide you through, participants will create pieces around a common theme.


We’re mid-way through the festival! Sharing updates from each of the eight regions visited so far are returning ASTEP team members:

Abby Gerdts, ASTEP’s Director of International Programs

* Saginaw Valley State University – Region 3 highlights

* American River College – Region 7 highlights


Mauricio Salgado, ASTEP’s Director of Domestic Programs

* University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Region 5 highlights

* Cape Cod Community College – Region 1 highlights

* Los Angeles Theater Center – Region 8 highlights


Nick Dalton, ASTEP Volunteer

* Towson University – Region 2 highlights

* Darton College – Region 4 highlights


Alejandro Rodriguez, an ASTEP Volunteer Artist

* Centenary College of Louisiana – Region 6 highlights


Student-led play raises money to support ASTEP!

Even after graduating from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, where they led an ASTEP Student Chapter, this dynamic and inspiring group of students continues to champion ASTEP’s mission. While navigating their first few months as freshman at several different Boston colleges and conservatories, these students knew they wanted to stay involved with our work. They created a play and performed it as a fundraiser for ASTEP. Estrogen & Testosterone debuted with two shows on January 12, 2013 at the 45th Street Theater Jewel Box in NYC, raising over $1,400  to benefit ASTEP’s programming! We are so proud of their commitment to using the arts as a force for social change. For your talent, dedication, and creativity– Jake Evans, Daniel Hutchins, Serena Kassow, Alynn Parola, and Renee Richard — we thank you for being leaders in the ASTEP community!  

Who We Are and What We Do


ASTEP believes that access to the arts changes lives. Our Volunteer Artists dedicate their time and talent to using the arts to engage children, excite them about learning, and develop essential academic and social skills. Click on the video links below to learn how!

Overview Video

Q1 Origin Video

Q2 Objective

Q3 Leverage Points

Q4 Effectiveness

Q5 Success Metrics

Q6 Misconceptions

Q7 Accomplishments

Q8 Challenges

Q9 Future Planning

Q10 Gaps

Crafting their story: creative arts with refugee youth in NYC

ASTEP Volunteer Artists Tajh Rust and Enora Paugam walk us through their class art project with our refugee youth students at Brooklyn International High School. The students worked on creating books about themselves and used prompts such as “I come from…” or “When I was a child…” or “Some day I will…”. The notion of Identity was explored throughout the semester.

Each day, the students had an opportunity to write in their books and were given specific material to use to illustrate their story. Watch the video for a complete look!

ASTEP believes that the adjustment period after a refugee or immigrant child’s arrival to the U.S. is critical to his or her successful adaptation to school and their new community. We use the arts to break down the barriers they face and strengthen the abilities they require to create a new life for themselves in their new home. In addition, our Volunteer Artists serve as trusted adult role models, mentors, and educators who guide refugee and immigrant youth in making healthy decisions about their futures.

+ Learn more about our arts program for refugee youth in NYC.

+ Interested in volunteering? Visit our Get Involved page today!

The arts on stage at PS199 in Queens

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The students who participated in our Creative Arts at PS199 through the Refugee Youth Program this past fall launched the holiday season with an energetic medley of skits and presentation of their projects. Led by ASTEP Volunteer Artist Autumn Potter, who returned for her second program with the children from the Refugee Youth Program, the students created poetry, various visual art projects, and journaled, all with the focus on their journeys to the U.S.–where they had come from and their hopes for the future. Below are samples of their creativity!